Saturday, February 20, 2010

Making radio . . .

Okay, I have to be on the road by 7:30 a.m. today, heading south to Lexington, to give the second of two essay-writing workshops at Boxerwood Gardens. This means I don't have a lot of time to write this morning, so it seemed like a good time to post a picture WMRA's Terry Ward took two days ago. I thought it might be of interest to you, particularly if you've never been to the WMRA studios before.

Yesterday on Morning Edition, we aired what's called a two-way interview (i.e. a conversation) between local ME host Bob Leweke and Virginia Insight host/reporter Tom Graham discussing what's going on in the Virginia General Assembly. Tom had just gotten back from Richmond, covering what's known as cross-over day; the day when all legislative bills under consideration cross over from the House to the Senate or vice-versa.

Sometimes "2-ways" are done live, but since there was some lead time before this one and it wasn't a breaking story, we decided to record it the afternoon before. The red-headed guy in the picture is WMRA  Program Director and production wizard, Matt Bingay. He's in the on-air studio running the board (controlling sound levels and sound balance) and recording Tom Graham and Bob Leweke, whom you can see through the studio window. They are seated in what we call the talk show studio. People in the two soundproof rooms can communicate visually and through microphones.

After Matt digitally records Tom and Bob, he'll trim their conversation to fit a particular time slot in Morning Edition. That done, he'll load the digital audio file into our automation system.

All Bob has to do to air the interview is punch a button on that board in the on-air studio.

Making radio fascinates me. If the process fascinates you, as well, please come by and visit the WMRA studio. We love where we work, are very grateful to you for helping us work there, and would be so proud to show you around.

(By the way, if you look closely, you can see Terry Ward reflected in the talk show studio window.)

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